Portable hd compatible with both mac and pc


I am looking to buy an external hd 2.5, with at least 500 gb. With some research I have discovered that most external drives will only work with mac or a pc depending on how it is formatted from the start.

I was hoping to find one that will work with both a mac and a pc without having to reformat it if i wanted to use it with either a mac or a pc. Basically I have friends that have macs and i have a hp laptop. That way we could easily exchange stuff like pics, movies, etc.

Is there any hard drives on the market that can offer compatibility to both without having to reformat when going from a mac to pc or vice-versa?

thanks for the help. :)
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More about portable compatible
  1. You could try formatting the drive in FAT initially, and see if that works. Otherwise I got nothing. Mac has a PITA file structure that refuses to read FAT32, or NTFS. Otherwise you could try running a light linux (dual boot), as linux can read both (unless crapple changed that recently).
  2. hmmm...i guess i could use that as a last resort. But i would still rather try to find a hd that is compatible with both.
  3. You could buy an external HDD that has been formatted with an NTFS file system. This will work out of the box for PCs running Microsoft OSes. Mac OSX will be able to read the NTFS file system, but it won't be able to natively write to it. One workaround is to install NTFS-3G on the Mac.


    AIUI, some Seagate external drives ship with NTFS-3G on the drive itself.
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